This Pesto Chicken and Vegetable Soup is a hearty and satisfying soup! Full of vegetables, shredded chicken, cannellini beans, pesto and topped off with parmesan cheese! A cozy comfort food dinner for cold nights.
This recipe and photos have been updated from the original post on 11/2/2015
Do you ever have those days or nights where you’re so cold and can’t warm up no matter how many sweaters you have on? Aside from sitting right next too the fireplace, the only thing that seems to warm me up is to eat or drink something hot.
Soup is my meal of choice on days like this. One of my favorites to make is this pesto chicken and vegetable soup. Unlike some soups it’s a meal on it’s own. You don’t need a salad or piece of protein to go along with it.
Between the protein in the chicken breasts and plenty of fiber in the veggies and beans, this is a soup that will stick with you. It’s also a great soup to make if you have vegetables that need to be used or a rotisserie chicken you’re not sure what to do with.
Ingredients Needed to Make Pesto Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- butternut squash
- yellow onion
- green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Italian seasoning and dried oregano
- diced tomatoes
- cannellini beans
- low sodium chicken broth
- cooked chicken breasts or chicken thighs
- Parmesan cheese and rind
How to Make the Soup
This is an easy one pot soup that doesn’t take a lot of time to make. The majority of the time will be spent chopping the vegetables, which I have time saving tips to help with this listed below.
Prep all of the vegetable and shred the chicken. Once that’s done heat some olive oil in a large pot. Add in the onion, butternut squash and carrots and sauté them for about 4 minutes. Next, add in the garlic, green beans and spices and sauté for several more minutes.
Stir in the kale until it starts to wilt and then pour in the diced tomatoes, beans, chicken, pesto, Parmesan cheese rind and chicken broth. Stir everything together and bring the soup to a boil.
Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and simmer it with the lid partially on for 15-20 minutes. Top the soup with shredded Parmesan cheese and an extra dollop of pesto before serving. The soup is great on it’s own or with a slice of warm crusty bread.
Time Saving Tips
- Buy pre-cut butternut squash. It is more expensive, but also a huge time saver.
- Use rotisserie chicken (skin off) or leftover cooked chicken breasts.
- Use prepared pesto from the grocery store. This Blue Moose of Boulder basil pesto is one of my favorites when I don’t make homemade.
- Chop all of the vegetables a day or two in advance to save on time the day you plan to make the soup.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Soup Freeze Well?
Yes! If you plan to freeze the soup, cool it completely before doing so. Once it’s cool put it in a freezer safe container or freezer bag with the air pressed out. The soup will keep for several months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use the soup, let it defrost in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Pour it into a saucepan or pot and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes and it’s ready to serve. If the soup looks dry add in an extra 1/2 cup to cup of chicken broth.
Other Vegetables That Work Well in This Soup
If you don’t have or don’t like one of the vegetable in this soup, here are some alternatives that will work well.
- spinach or chard
- any type of winter squash,
- zucchini or summer squash. These will need less time to cook so add them after all the other heartier vegetables.
- potatoes or sweet potatoes
How Long Will the Soup Keep in the Refrigerator?
The soup can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you don’t plan to eat it all by then I recommend freezing a portion the day you make it.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into approximately 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- 1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 1 1/2 cups shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Shredded Parmesan cheese and extra pesto for topping the soup
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add in the butternut squash and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the onion, garlic, green beans, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the kale and cook until it starts to wilt. Add in the diced tomatoes, beans, Parmesan cheese rind, shredded chicken, chicken broth, and pesto and stir everything together. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning then serve the soup topped with shredded parmesan cheese and a dollop of pesto if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 26g